Fishing has never held much appeal for me. I don’t like worms. I don’t like shivering on a frozen lake. And I don’t like getting burned in the sun while sitting and waiting to catch “the big one.” I also don’t like snakes, which always seem to hover near water.
However, while growing up, my family owned property that included part of a small, but deep, lake. That lake, named after the original owner of our farm, became a very convenient fishing spot. It should have been named Bullhead Lake, though, as it contained tons of those ugly fish. Carp and sunnies were abundant as well.
The lazy summer days could have easily beckoned us children to the lake daily, especially my brothers, but there always seemed to be other tasks that needed to be done first. Fishing was low on our list of things to do. It was more of an occasional pastime — something to do when there was nothing else to do.
One summer, out of the blue, on a Sunday afternoon, my dad announced that we were all going fishing as a family. So, with bamboo fishing poles and a can of worms in tow, we hiked down to the lake.
What a surprise that day turned out to be. In the span of about two hours, our family of seven caught more than 150 fish of all sizes. No, this is not a fish tale! It’s true. I don’t know if the weather had something to do with it or what, but for some reason, the day was perfect for fishing. It seemed we only needed to cast out our lines, wait a minute or so for the bobber to plunge underwater yet again, and then reel in another bullhead, carp or sunnie.
That day was unforgettable. We released all the fish back into the lake. No one caught “the big one,” but we sure had a fun, relaxing and amazing afternoon as a family.
Belle Plaine, Minnesota
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